(You're reading all posts by Buster Hein) Buster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.
About Buster Hein
We still don’t have a launch date for Apple Watch, but if you can’t wait to line up at Apple Stores for Jony Ive’s timepiece, you can do the next best thing and buy a knockoff.
Earlier this morning, an eBay listing for a “prototype Apple Watch” sold in just hours for $260. The seller claims it’s an Apple prototype obtained from a cousin who works at Apple, but the sticker on the front and cheap leather band give it away as an obvious fake.
Here’s a look at the listing:
Ever since Tim Cook unveiled the Apple Watch last September, it’s been one disappointment after another as far as I’m concerned. Apple’s first wearable won’t come in the minimalist form factor of the fitness bracelets I love. Worse yet, the launch version of the fashion-forward device will lack GPS, suffer from underwhelming battery life and fail to offer truly native third-party apps.
For the first time, I realized I would not be buying an Apple product when it first hit the market. “It’s not worth lining up for,” I told my dad when he asked what I thought after the Apple Watch’s big reveal.
But a funny thing happened on the way to Apple Watch’s launch day, which is coming sometime this spring. And I’m not talking about the previously unthinkable — an Apple fan calling the Microsoft Band the best smartwatch on the planet. No, I’m talking about wading through an ungodly sea of really bad smartwatches at International CES earlier this month and seeing indisputable proof of just how innovative and disruptive Apple Watch actually will be.
The iPhone 6S rumor mill is churning
We get slammed 24/7 with new Apple rumors. Some are accurate, most are not. To give you a clue about what’s really coming out of Cupertino in the future, we’re busting out our rumor debunker each week to blow up the nonsense.
We've coming out of our winter hibernation to an avalanche of new iPhone 6S rumors claiming Apple's next smartphone will have the biggest camera upgrade ever. There's also whispers of a 12-inch MacBook Air on the horizon, and a possible ARM-powered Mac in the next year.
Step up to the crystal ball and find out which of these rumors is most likely to come true in 2015.
Apple and Intel are breaking up?
The Rumor: Your iMacs and MacBooks will be powered by ARM processors in 1 - 2 years/
The Verdict Not likely to happen yet. Ming Chi Kuo, aka “the world’s most accurate Apple analyst” has been wrong a time or two, and I think this is time he’s way off. Ditching Intel chips has been rumored forever. It still doesn’t make sense, as Apple would be sacrificing a lot of processing power for modest battery gains. It could happen in the next five years, but Kuo’s prediction that we’ll see an ARM powered MacBook in the next year sounds too soon to be true.
Dual-lens iPhone cameras?
The Rumor: The iPhone 6S will feature a dual-lens camera with optical zoom capabilities.
The Verdict: Sounds almost too good to be true, but we’ve heard this year’s camera upgrade will be the biggest ever. The iPhone is now the 2nd most popular camera brand in the world. Adding optical zoom and better image quality might be enough convince most users to never buy a regular camera again.
Apple patent takes aim at GoPro
The Rumor: GoPro is in trouble after Apple won a patent on its own wearable camera system.
The Verdict Apple is not making a wearable camera. Not because it couldn’t make a kickass wearable camera that’s even better than GoPro, but because there’s just not enough money in the wearable cameras market. If Apple can’t sell tens of millions of units of a product every quarter there’s no point in making it. GoPro investors can rest easy for another year.
The Rumor: Your next iPhone could sport a hidden gaming joystick behind the home button.
The Verdict Probably not going to happen. There are so many more parts that could break and need repair if Apple moved to a spring loaded joystick/home button. We still haven’t seen any iPhone gaming cases take off, and this is certainly an intriguing idea, but this patent is mostly likely a glimpse into an alternative Apple universe we’ll never see.
Meet Apple's new sapphire supplier
The Rumor: Apple already lined up a new a sapphire supplier.
The Verdict Too early to tell. Ever since GTAT went belly up Apple’s been hunting for a new sapphire supplier. Previous rumors have claimed Foxconn will step in, while a recent Wall Street Journal report points to Apple supplier Desay as the possible GTAT replacement. The company already makes sapphire displays for its smartphones. Maybe the S in iPhone 6S will stand for “sapphire.”
Ready for a RAM upgrade?
The Rumor: 2GB of RAM will be the new standard on the iPhone 6S.
The Verdict The odds of the iPhone 6S getting 2GB of RAM is incredibly likely. We’re not expecting a design overall on the 6S, but there should be plenty of big internal upgrades. The iPhone 6 only has 1GB of RAM. Doubling it will certainly make it wicked fast, and all those new Metal-coded games will look better than ever.
iPhone is ditching LCD
The Rumor: Future iPhones are set to get OLED displays.
The Verdict Count on it, but not until 2016. Foxconn is reportedly dedicating an entire factory to pumping out OLED displays for iPhones and Apple wearables. Mass production probably won’t start until 2016, which will come just in time for Apple to swap out the iPhone 6s’ LCD display with a thinner, brighter OLED beauty.
12-inch MacBook Airs with one port?
The Rumor: Apple’s redesign of the MacBook Air will pare it down to a 12-inch screen with just one port: USB Type C.
The Verdict The entire 12-inch MacBook Air Stealth scoop by Mark Gurman sounds almost too unreal. I’ll just say, I’ve also heard from one of his incredibly well placed sources, that it is going to happen.
Apple surprised developers with its new programming language, Swift, at WWDC 2014 but it hasn’t taken long for the developer community to get behind what will soon be the replacement for Objective-C.
In the latest programming language popularity rankings from RedMonk, Swift has shot up from the 68th ranked language in Q3 2014, to the 22nd most popular language going into 2015. To put that growth into perspective, Google released its new language Go in 2009, but it just barely cracked the top 20 in this quarter’s rankings.
Here’s the full rankings chart:
The tech blogosphere has been buzzing this morning with news that Apple might be ditching Intel after ‘the world’s most accurate Apple analyst’ issued a report predicting iMacs and MacBooks will shun Intel processors for Apple’s own ARM-based solution within the next 1 – 2 years.
The ramifications of Intel getting ditched by the only personal computer line that’s still gaining marketshare would be huge. Intel’s stock has been trading down 1.53% since the news broke this morning, but before you ditch your Intel stock and start dreaming of a fanless ARM-powered MacBook Air, there are two things you need to know that show Kuo is probably wrong.
BlackBerry isn’t quite dead yet, but don’t tell that to the person running their Twitter account.
The classic BlackBerry keyboard is great for pounding out 140-character tweets, yet whoever is tweeting from @BlackBerry was spotted using an iPhone to implore the brand’s few faithful remaining fans to keep up with the BlackBerry conversation on Twitter.
Shares of GoPro stock plummeted as much as 15% this afternoon after it was announced that Apple was awarded a patent that could put the wearable camera company in serious trouble.
Apple was granted a series of 34 patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today relating to a camera system that can be mounted to helmets and scuba masks and controlled remotely. That patent specifically mentions weaknesses in GoPro’s system, which has sent investors worrying that Apple is aiming to crush the sports camera giant.
The Macintosh will celebrate its 31st anniversary in 11 more days, and while Apple’s design team has moved on from the tiny all-in-one form factor of the first Macintosh, our friends at Curved decided to bring a facelift to Steve Jobs’ creation that led the PC revolution.
For their futuristic redesign, the Curved team slapped an 11-inch MacBook Air screen into a thin brushed aluminum frame that mimics the original shape of the Macintosh. Instead of running regular OS X, the new Macintosh packs touchscreen controls to go with 128GB of storage and 8 GB of RAM.
Take a look at some of the mockups below to see if you’d like this concept to grace your desktop.
Apple has seeded the fourth iOS 8.2 developer this morning. The new beta comes more than one month after iOS 8.2 beta 3 was released. The upcoming iOS 8.2 public release brings Apple Watch support to iOS devices.
iOS 8.2 beta 4 is available to all registered developers in the iOS Dev Center, or as an OTA update. Apple also released a fourth beta of Xcode 6.2 with the new iOS beta.
The release notes for iOS 8.2 beta 4 don’t mention any new features, but contains numerous bug fixes as the Apple Watch launch approaches. Use of iOS 9.0 was also spotted recently as Apple has begun internal testing ahead of its release later this fall.
LAS VEGAS — The iPhone is the most popular camera in the world. But it still sucks at flash photography.
Knog, the Austrialian company that makes those kickass bike lights, wants to make your nighttime iPhone pics a little bit better this year: Its newest lighting revelation is called Expose, and it’s a super-handy iPhone flash that’s also super-bright.
Expose is bright in more ways than one. Its accompanying iPhone app lets users blast light in photo and video modes, with flash, strobe or continuous settings. You can adjust the white balance and brightness, and the device weighs so little you’ll barely notice it’s in your pocket.